Friday, December 11, 2009

God Bless the Dog Walkers

This blog entry was going to be named, "It Is Not Always As Easy As I Make It Sound." We've just entered the real cold weather for the first time this season. Last year my youngest was just a baby in a giant fleece suit that covered her hands and feet, but this year she is a willful one-year-old who doesn't care for mittens and LOVES her snow boots, but for exactly 29 minutes at a time and no more!

So, she has to learn a few things like how much the cold air hurts your little fingers if you don't wear mittens and I have to remember a few tricks that I must have used before because this is my 6th year of cold weather running with one or more children in the stroller!

Yesterday things were not going so well, but when it is cold, nothing is gained by stopping - it just prolongs the whole process. I gave up on the mittens early because she's figured out she can pull them off with her teeth. I put the boots BACK on three times before I gave up on that. She was still wearing socks plus she was inside the wind shield. She had moved on to trying to climb out from behind the plastic - and then we saw a dog.

Screeching in the uppermost frequencies that humans can hear, and probably those that only dogs can hear too, my dog-adoring child forgot all about the boots and hood and cold hands and empty cup and she sang at the dog and yelled at the dog and looked at the dog and waved at the dog. Though we passed by quickly, the excitement carried us to the next dog sighting and the next.

So, to all you loyal dog-walkers who are out and about in the cold morning weather: thank you and God bless!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fallen Trees

After a weekend of modest, but wet snowfall, there were 4 trees down on our run yesterday. So, how do you get a double stroller that weighs in around 100 pounds over a tree? Well, it depends...

Level 1 crossings: Less than ~12"
Just pop that front wheel up and over like a curb. Depending on your wheel diameter, you may need to use the bottom of the stroller frame like a see saw to get the front wheel down on the other side.

Level 2: ~12-18"
Turn around and pull the back wheels over first. (And, yes, I do work out.)

Level 3: ~18-30"
Take the kid(s) out. Get them to the other side and then lift the empty stroller over.

Level 4: Over 30"
Find a way to go around it or change the plan to an "out and back" run.

There are other complicating factors such as branches or multiple trunks. You, of course, need to use your own good judgment depending on your strength, experience, and the weight of your children.

Finally, if you keep lots of random stuff in the under carriage basket as I do, you'll want to check that you haven't lost anything after the big tipping. Good luck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

I've heard before that if you tell people that you are on a diet, you will be more successful since they will "hold you to it," so to speak. It was 29 degrees F yesterday morning, but we ran. The primary reason that I packed us all up and went out was that I talk so much trash about running in all seasons and all conditions!

So, go ahead and talk a little trash about how tough you are. It is good for sticking to the plan and it is good for your ego. The key is, though, that you have to follow through. Someone might just ask you about your frigid morning run!

The other half actually does involve some money. That is buying the right clothes and equipment to keep you and your kids comfortable and safe in these extreme temperatures. Things like a wind/weather shield, mittens and even boots for the kids are key in the sub-freezing temps.

I'll see you out there...but don't be offended if I don't say hello. My eyeballs might be frozen...